‘Ajmer blast carried out to deter Hindus from dargah visit’

New Delhi, January 10 (PTI): The 2007 Ajmer Shariff blast was carried out to deter Hindus from going to the famous shrine and the act was carried out by a group of extremists whose members belonged to both majority and minority communities, Swami Aseemanand, an accused in the case has said in his confessional statement. “A couple of days after the Ajmer blast, Sunil Joshi (a former RSS pracharak who was murdered) came to see me. He was accompanied by two men named Raj and Mehul, who had also visited Shabri Dham on previous occasions.
“Joshi claimed his men had perpetrated the blast and he was also present at Ajmer Dargah at the time of the blast. He said that Indresh (senior RSS leader) had provided him two Muslim boys to plant the bomb,” he said in the statement. The statement, made under Section 164 of the CrPC before a Magistrate, is admissible in the Court. Explaining the reasons for selecting the dargah for the bombing, he said, “Ajmer Shariff is one Dargah where Hindus also go in large numbers. And hence we should keep a bomb in Ajmer so that Hindus get frightened and stop going there.”
In his statement, Assemanand spells out roles of a number of RSS workers and its Central Committee member Indresh Kumar in carrying out blasts in Malegaon, Hyderabad and even in the Samjhauta Express. He also claimed that in 2005, Indresh had met him and said planting bombs was not his (Aseemanand’s) duty and that he had deputed Joshi for the job. “Indreshji met me at Shabri Dham (Aseemanand’s ashram in Gujarat) in 2005 and was accompanied by many top RSS functionaries...He told me my talks about ‘bomb for bomb’ is not my job. He said the RSS has directed me to work among the tribals and do nothing more than that. He said they are also thinking on similar lines like me and hence Sunil (Joshi) has been given the responsibility and all help would be extended to him,” he said.
Aseemanand had proposed a theory of ‘bomb for bomb’ in retaliation to terrorist attacks on temples in the country. However, the statement given by Aseemanand suggests that the right-wing extremists who had carried a spate of blasts, killing over 80 people, did not trust one another much. More than 68 people were killed in the Samjhauta Express, a India-Pakistan peace train, bombing in 2007, seven people were killed in the 2008 Malegaon blasts, while three died in the 2007 explosion at Ajmer Dargah Sharif. While Assemanand confessed to have talked about particular targets and providing finance for the same, he came to know about the blasts only after they happened.
He even talked about another Malegaon blast accused Lt Col Srikant Purohit, who was posted with the Military Intelligence at the time of arrest, expressing his suspicion about Indresh. “Col Purohit had also told me once that Indreshji was an ISI agent and he has all the documents with him. But Col Purohit never showed me those documents,” he said in a statement recorded on December 18, 2010. From his statement, Sandeep Dange, an RSS worker currently absconding, has emerged as one of the main dots joining the right wing terror net, besides Sadhvi Pragya Singh (in custody) and Joshi. Assemanand’s statement was taken in the case ‘State (CBI) vs Sandeep Dange and others’. The CBI had questioned Indresh in connection with the Mecca Masjid blast and is likely to question him again.